Internet forums can have a positive influence on self-harmers, say researchers
Study showed that online forums are "most commonly used" for support and empathy
Thursday 31 October 2013
Internet forums and chatrooms can have a positive influence on young people at risk from self-harm or suicide, researchers have found.
The review, which comes from researchers at Oxford University, does admit that there are also negative, potentially dangerous aspects to forums, however.
Of the 14 studies that make up the review, seven report the positive influences of internet forums. According to the review, forums and chatrooms are “most commonly used” for constructive reasons and can act as a type of community, within which users can seek support and empathy. It is also suggested that the use of forums can serve as a coping mechanism against the user’s distress and anxiety.
As a whole, the review claims that the internet can offer “acceptance” and “alleviation of loneliness and shame” which can, in turn, help to reduce the desires for self-harm or suicide that young people may have.
However, the review does outline the negative influences that the internet can exert upon young people. For one, the internet has apparently created a freedom of communication which can be exploited for cyber-bullying, which has been found to “correlate with increased risk of self-harm, suicidal ideation, and depression.”
Five studies from the review report the negative influences of forums and chatrooms. The reports highlight the concern that some discussions can potentially normalise self-harm, and that others focus on empathy and safety rather than actual prevention of destructive behaviour.
Other forums were also found that offer advice on how to conceal self-harm, whereas others go as far as to endorse destructive behaviour.
The review concludes by calling for a more extensive look into how the internet, especially chatrooms and forums, can be utilised by healthcare workers to communicate and intervene with young people who are at risk of self-harm or suicide.
Life & Style blogs
Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
Professional wine tasters putting teeth at risk, study finds
NHS property sale could raise £7.5bn to help pay off its growing deficit and free up space for housing
Clocks change: how to make sure iPhone and smartphones automatically ‘spring forward’
Gay marriage, one year on: Couples mark first anniversary of same-sex marriages
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 1 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...
£21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...